Hot Pads: How to Help and Heal Your Dog's Paws

by Samantha Meyers July 12, 2017

Hot Pads: How to Help and Heal Your Dog's Paws

If it’s too hot for you to go without shoes, chances are it’s too hot for your dog as well. As the summer heat rises, so does the chance of injury and burns on your dog's sweet little feet.

Some dogs are more sensitive than others and will let you know the ground is too hot - our French Bulldog does what we like to call “shadow hopping” when the ground gets to hot for him: he will quickly find the nearest car or bush to walk under, cooling his feet in the shade. This is our sign that it is too hot for him and that a walk would be better suited to another time of day. Other dogs, like our doodle will suffer through the heat and pain in the excitement of their walk, or just to be with you.

The best thing you can do is know your dog and use your best judgement, but here are some other tips to help you beat the summer heat and keep your dog's pads safe!

Paw Protection

  • If your dog is outside, make sure there is plenty of shade available.
  • When walking your dog avoid blacktop and pavement, look for grass and shade to walk in.
  • Avoid walking your dog in the hottest parts of the day, choose morning and late afternoon when the temperatures are lower.
  • Get booties for your dog if you don’t have shade and grass available or you plan to be outside for longer periods of time.
  • Avoid heavy activity such as running and hiking if the ground is hot and can lead to more damage.
  • Even if an outdoor event sounds like fun and your dog 'would just love it!' remember the best way to love your dog during a hot summer day is to leave him at home.

Signs of Burnt Paws

  • Licking or chewing feet
  • Visible damage, blisters or sores
  • Redness or paws appear darker than usual
  • Limping or avoiding walking

If you think your dog’s paws might be burnt, or there are signs of open wounds, always consult a veterinarian. They may require antibiotics, pain killers and bandaging depending on the severity of the burn. If kept off of the injury, they will typically make a full recovery, but it can be challenging to keep your dog from re-injuring himself until it’s fully healed.

It might feel disappointing to limit your dog’s summer activities, but with a little planning, good timing and preparation, you and your dog can have a fun, safe and happy summer together.

Samantha Meyers
Samantha Meyers


Samantha is the former web editor for DogFancy and and has enjoyed years of sharing her passion and knowledge for pets with the world. A lover of all things dog and an avid baker and crafter, she regularly contributes dog-friendly recipes and projects to Dogster and Lucky Puppy magazines. Sam lives in Southern California with her husband and their two dogs Huggs the Frenchie and Quinn the Aussie-Poodle. 

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